In an article from way back in the early days of personal computing, proto-guru Don Lancaster divided the computer world into two camps: the hard & the soft.
wonks preferred to fix everything by writing thousands of lines of code, even though adding a simple five cent NOR gate to the logic circuit board would have fixed the problem better.
wonks, on the other hand, preferred to wirewrap a few bushel baskets worth of ICs to handle something even if that something could be just as easily accomplished by adding a few lines of code to the kernal.
His point was that you really needed to mix the best of both camps in order to produce an affordable and efficient personal computer. Something Steve Wozniak and company did when they came up with the Apple][. Something IBM did even better when they decided to create their first PC using an existing OS (of sorts
) and nothing but cheap "off the shelf" hardware instead of the proprietary and custom components they usually used.
It was a classic example of an optimal "build vs buy" decision.
And that decision created an industry that changed everything
about the way we communicate, work, and play.
And all in less than 20 years!
Some decision, huh?